Two hundred and seventy seven Texas students competed for the shot of a lifetime at the 11th annual National Archery in the Schools Tournament.
"The journey to the National NASP Tournament is sometimes years in the making for these students," says Burnie Kessner, Archery Coordinator for Texas Parks and Wildlife. "It takes the tenacity of everyone involved to get there- from the students and their parents, to the coaches and schools."
Several archers had a truly outstanding day when they placed above students from around the country.
Sam White, a ninth grade student at Marcus High School in Flower Mound, scored 297 out of 300 and came in at third place after a four-way tie-breaker shoot-off.
In a shoot-off for a college scholarship among the top high school students in the nation, White received second place and a $10,000 scholarship after a one-arrow shoot-off with the other competitors. The distance of the arrow to the middle of the target determined the winner of the scholarship money. The money ranged from $10,000- $20,000.
White was invited to be on the All-American Team comprised of the top 16 archers from Nationals. The All-American Team will compete in an event following the World NASP tournament in July against teams from Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
Tania Sanchez, a seventh grade student at St. Mary's Catholic School in Sherman, Texas, scored 291 points and received sixth place in the middle school girls division after a three-way tie-breaker shoot-off. She was the first place holder among the 740 seventh grade girls who competed.
Dakotah Mahan, an eighth grader at S&S Middle School scored 291 points and came in eighth place in the middle school boys division.
Kayla McCabe of Ennis High School shot a 288 and was the eighth best 11th grade girl among 321 competitors.
Rachel Gunter of Union Grove High School also had an excellent day, shooting a 286 and landing in 10th place among 430 other 10th grade girls.
Lamar Middle School's archery team from Lewisville, Texas. won second place in the middle school division, following their first place finish last year at Nationals and second runner-up finish at World's.
"We are very proud of the Texas NASP students' schools that represented us in Louisville, Kentucky," says Kessner. "It is certain to be an experience they will all remember for the rest of their lives."
For more information about the National Archery in the Schools Program, http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/learning/archery/nasp_texas/